Making Your Impact Factor More Measurable

Working in the field of scholarly research means that you are good at asking questions. Questions like “how did that happen”, “why did that happen”, “how can I prove X happened”. Yet, sometimes it seems that by the time the research paper is written the questions are just beginning. Unless you’re a data scientist, these are probably things you are less adept at calculating answers to. (If you are a data scientist, stick around, you may still be interested to see what we have in store for you.)

Post-paper questions tend to look more like:

What impact has our research had in the last 12 months?

How do I report that impact to my stakeholders?

How do we measure the societal impact of our research?


See this?

This is your answer. 



That little widget represents your Plum Print, a color data visual that represents various metric categories for your scholarly article. The larger the circle in the data set, the higher number of metrics associated within the category. As of now, each paper on SSRN has PlumX metrics integrated into it to help authors tell the story of their research.

We’ve always recorded paper downloads and abstract views, but in a world where data is a necessity, those alone no longer measure the true research impact. The metrics recorded with PlumX provide a more complete view of what is happening to any research paper on SSRN and how the world is interacting with it.

Our Vision

  • Librarians assist faculty and students with their research to help them tell their stories impacting their tenure and promotion opportunities.
  • Researchers start to get a picture of the societal impact of research, understand how their individual pieces are being consumed, tell the story of their research for grant applications, have early signals about the impact of their research before citations can accrue, identify potential research collaborators based on who is interacting with the research. Research Leaders showcase the institution’s research.
  • Publishers begin to understand which articles get read and which ones do not; start to get a picture of the societal impact of research they are publishing.

How will these new metrics affect you? How can they change your strategy to share your research? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


About Plum Analytics
Plum Analytics was founded in early 2012 as an independent company dedicated to the development of new metrics for evaluating research outputs. Working to provide new ways to answer questions about the impact of research and to help researchers reclaim the narratives of their research, the company quickly established a reputation as a pioneer in this field. EBSCO, a content aggregator, acquired Plum Analytics in 2014. That partnership provided important metric contributions including Usage metrics from their content, Clinical Citations from their clinical information service. Today Plum Analytics gathers metrics, known as PlumX Metrics, from dozens of scholarly sources, media channels and social media, providing a fast, diverse and thorough approach to measuring research performance. With the acquisition by Elsevier in February 2017, there is a strong ability to grow and use metrics from Elsevier and integrate with the research intelligence products.